The Handwork teacher

I am a mother to two beautiful girls and I teach Handwork and Fine Arts in our local waldorf charter school in Arizona.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

3rd Grade

The year of "everything goes upside down" the 9 year of change......parents breathe through it and teachers hold your breath.


"From the cotton field plants
the cotton is won and washed and spun
plants give the cotton and we give it form
with line on line and row on row
the one long thread begins to show
the work of our fingers, with patients transforms
now the cotton field plant can clothe our form."


" My hands are a bowl they hold water just fine
my hands are a shelter, a pillow, a line
my hands are spinners and weavers too
my hands are my most useful tool
They've done their work
they've done their best and now its time for them
to rest."

Blessings on your day 3rd grade boys and girls.

Verses to teach them to crochet.

how to hold your yarn. "pinky pointer hold your yarn ( or work)
Here the yarn wraps around the pinky then the pointer and the pointer points while the middle finger and the thumb holds the work.

single crochet
"under the bridge catch a fish and pull it through, now you have 2, catch another, easy as butter."

Chain stitch "Into the bunny hole, grab some carrots for me, out of the bunny hole and you're home free"

or just talk about fishing and the crochet hook is the pole and and hooks onto fish in the pond .

Thursday, August 21, 2008

plant dyeing with 3rd and 5th

Yesterday I got out the dye pots and we had a party at school.....not literally.

I had 5th grade dye their skeins for their horses
and 3rd grade dyed their skeins for their recorder cases

And once the Kindergarten teachers saw the dye pots they ran over with 10 yards of flannel and dyed skin color (madder root and black walnut) for their knot babies.

and here is the view as you walk into my handwork room


I did this with them after 3 or 4 classes, so they had projects that they were working on in their handwork bag.
I had dye pots ready. I had a sample of the recorder case and we talked about darkest to lightest. I told them to think about what colors they wanted and I had pre cut papers with crayons for the recorder pattern...they colored in the space where they would be filling in the dark color, then they would color in a line for the light color, then they would go back to darker for a bit (less color now) then they would do more light, then less dark, then more light, then one line of dark. then all light.
we colored for about 10 mins and one by one when they were done, they came outside and dyed their skein by putting it in the dye pot.....that's it, then they went back inside and continued their projects. at the end of class they rung out their skein and hung it.
So it took one class only. the next class they paired up and rolled balls of yarn . I got the unbleached yarn bulky weight from Brown sheet.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The mind of a child

this morning our Carpool (they drive a white minivan) came to pick up my girls and they arrived in a fancy new red van. My older daughter looked at it and said "wow, did they plant dye their van?"
She was totally serious!
So cute!

here are some other thoughts from my girls

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Handwork room

the yellow room is now filled with 12 tables and sewing machines for 8th grade.

Here is my room. it looks totally different from last year. I painted it this summer (last week, it was white) and we took out the library that was sharing the space. Now I only share this space with the after care program....

So, welcome to my room

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm in a committee, I'm in meetings

So If you don't know what it is like to be in a waldorf school faculty meeting...let me give you a small peak into my world that I have been enjoying for the last week from 8AM on......

Oh, give me your pity, I'm on a committee,
Which means that from morning to night
we attend and amend and contend, and defend,
with out a conclusion in sight.

We confer and concur, we defer and demur,
And reiterate all of our thoughts.
We revise the agenda with frequent addenda,
And consider a load of reports.

We compose and propose, we support and oppose,
And the points of procedure are fun!
But though various notions are brought up as motions,
There's terribly little gets done.

We resolve and absolve, but we never dissolve,
Since it's out of the question for us.
What a shattering pity to end out committee,
Where else could we make such a fuss.

Anonymous author

Monday, August 4, 2008

If you don't hear from me

I am starting school in 1 week and I am in meetings alllllll this week and then the race begins.... oh sorry the journey into the world of love and light and learning :)

So, keep checking in....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

painting with young children

First grade verse

There's a bridge of wondrous light,

Filled with colours shining bright:

Red and yellow, orange and green,

The Fairest colours ever seen.

Blue and violet, magic rose,

down from Heaven to earth it goes.

followed by the song:

Rainbow fairies come to me,

Dance upon my paper free.

Help to make my painting bright,

Filled with colour, warmth and light.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

6th grade or Kindergarten teacher project

cotton tubing from medical supply store

fold 4 corners into the center and attach to the center . this will make it about 1/2 the size you thought it would be. but gives weight to the marionette.

This year I will have my 6th grade put on 2 puppet shows.

The invisible one

There was once a large village situated on the border of a lake there lived an old man, a widower with three daughters. The youngest of those was a small humble girl who did nothing for herself but always served others. Because of this, her eldest sister took advantage of her and treated her with great cruelty. The second sister was somewhat kinder, and sometimes stood up for her younger sister. Now because of all the hard work the younger sister did, her skin was often dirty and burnt from the sun so she was given the name Oochuwuki, the Rough-Skin Girl.

When her father returned home from the day, he would ask why the child was so dirty, and her sister would promptly say that it was the fault of the girl herself, for even though the father had forbidden her from going close to the fire, she had done so anyway, and had fallen in the soot. The father would shake his head, and wonder what would become of his youngest daughter. But he loved her greatly and often brought her flowers and sweet honey, things that his older daughter did not care for.

At one end of the village was a lodge in which lived a being who was always invisible. He was a mighty hunter, handsome and strong. He had a sister named Nukumi, who attended to all his wants, and it was known that any girl who could see him might marry him. As it happens, many tried but none of these girls could ever see him.

One day, it occurred to the two older sisters that they should go and try their luck at seeing the Invisible One.

The eldest sister wore her finest clothing and took great effort to look her best. She walked to the lodge of the Invisible one and there was greeted by Nukumi who welcomed her into their wigwam. When the sun was starting to set, they walked down to the lake and there they waited.

"Do you see my brother, he is coming now around the lake?" Asked Nukumi

"Certainly," replied the elder sister

“What is his bow made of” asked Nukumi

"Of birch ." Replied the elder sister

"Very well, let us return to the wigwam."

When they entered the wigwam, Nukumi asked her guest not to take a certain seat, for it was the seat of the Invisible One. After they had cooked supper, the elder sister waited with great curiosity to see the invisible one eat. Soon enough she got proof that he was a real person, for as he took off his moccasins they became visible, and his sister hung them up. She also could see food leaving his dish and disappear in mid-air, but beyond that she would see nothing. After this the Elder sister left the wigwan with head held low and she walked home.

The Middle sister went the next morning, also dressed in her best and hoping to win the chance to see the Invisible one.

Nukumi welcomed her guest and again when the sun was starting to set, they walked down to the lake and there they waited.

"Do you see my brother, he is coming now around the lake?" said Nukumi

"Certainly," replied the middle sister

“What is his bow made of” asked Nukumi

"Of Pine ." Replied the middle sister

"Very well, let us return to the wigwam."

And just like her elder sister she saw the moccasins appear out of thin air and the food disappear from the bowl.

The Middle sister left and slowly walked home. When she got home she told her sister’s that she had failed to see the invisible one and that only a person who was pure of heart could see him. With this she told her younger sister, oochuwuki, to go and try. Their elder sister only laughed and said if she couldn’t see him then no one could.

But the next morning Oochuwuki, made her way to the Invisible one’s lodge. She did not have any special outfits or shell necklaces to ware, but she was light heart and full of love.

Nukumi welcomed her guest and again when the sun was starting to set, they walked down to the lake and there they waited.

"Do you see my brother, he is coming now around the lake?" said Nukumi

"barely can I see him," replied Oochuwuki

“What is his bow made of” asked Nukumi

"Of rainbow wood ." Replied Oochuwuki Nukumi was surprised and asked one more question just to make sure

“and what is his string make of?’

“ of the milky way” replied Oochuwuki

"Very well, let us return to the wigwam for you can see him."

When they reached the wigwam, the Invisible One's sister took the strange clothes off Oochuwuki, and washed her with water from a special jar. Under her gentle hands, the young woman's scars disappeared, leaving her skin shining and smooth. She also combed Oochuwuki 's hair, and as she did, it grew to her waist, black and gleaming as a raven's wing and ready for braiding. Oochuwuki had not been treated with such kindness since her mother had passed on, and the joy in her face transformed it into one of surpassing beauty.

Then the sister opened a chest and took out a beautiful wedding outfit, and asked Oochuwuki to wear it. She had just put it on when a deep voice said, "Greetings, my sister."

Oochuwuki turned to the entrance and stared at the magnificent young hunter. She saw surprise light his face when their eyes met.

"Greetings, my brother," said the sister. "You are discovered at last!"

The Invisible One walked over to Oochuwuki and took her hands in his. "For years I have waited to find a woman of pure heart and brave spirit. Only such a one could see me. And now that I have found you, you shall be my bride."


And so they were married. And from then on, Oochuwuki had a new name: the Lovely One.